We’re about a month and a half away from the all-star game and today MLB announced the all-star balloting numbers. Some of the players who are leading vote getters are actually having all-star years. Like Albert Pujols. Others, like Jason Varitek, are stinking it up.
Some notable potential snubs: Robinson Cano is leading the voting among second basemen in the AL with 30,000 more votes than Red Sox 2b Mark Loretta, who is hitting roughly 20 points higher than Cano and has comparable power numbers.
Johnny Damon is leading both Ichiro and Vernon Wells in voting. Damon has the third most votes for an outfielder, while Ichiro is fourth and Wells is sixth. Coco Crisp is ninth overall in voting, despite the fact that he’s played in only nine games this season.
In the national league, Craig Biggio is leading Chase Utley, while David Eckstein is leading Edgar Renteria.
Of course, there will always be a debate over whether the All-Star game should feature the players who are having the best year, or the players that the fans want to see. The current system of letting the fans choose the starters and the managers choose the replacements is a compromise.
But here’s a question: as long as we are treating the all-star game like an important event — allowing the winning league to host the world series — shouldn’t the best players, not the most popular players, play in the game?